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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



WORLD German bishops, trans woman's death, Hungary, human-rights event
by Andrew Davis

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Germany's Catholic bishops voted (38 to nine, with 11 abstentions) to adopt formal ceremonies for the blessing of same-sex relationships, defying the Vatican and testing church unity on what has become one of the most contentious issues in contemporary Christianity: moral teaching on homosexuality, The Wall Street Journal reported. The bishops voted 3in favor of liturgies for the blessing of couples who don't qualify for the Catholic sacrament of matrimony, including same-sex couples and those who have remarried outside the church after a divorce. The resolution calls on individual German bishops, each of whom has authority over the matter in his own diocese, to adopt the practice.

Eden Knight—a trans woman from Saudi Arabia who died by suicide after allegedly being forced to detransition—is being remembered as "overflowing with joy" and as a person who cared deeply about her community, PinkNews reported. Knight was reportedly found dead on March 13, months after she returned to Saudi Arabia from the United States, where she had been a student. Knight came out as trans during the COVID-19 pandemic after moving to the States to go to school.

Hungary plans to fight the Court of Justice of the European Union to defend its controversial anti-LGBTQ+ measure, PinkNews noted. The country's Child Protection Act, which passed in June 2021, bans the discussion of LGBTQ+ people in schools and in the media. The European Commission launched legal action by referring Hungary to the court in July 2022, saying the law "discriminates against people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity." In a speech last month, as reported by Reuters, Prime Minister Viktor Orban defended the legislation, saying "gender propaganda is not just … rainbow chatter, but the greatest threat stalking our children."

Australia recently hosted a three-day human-rights conference that was one of the centerpieces of Sydney WorldPride 2023, VOA News reported. Anna Brown, chief executive of the advocacy organization Equality Australia, told VOA, "Around the world, we see LGBTQ+ people criminalized because of who they are or who they love. There're still 70 countries that criminalize same-sex sexual acts and we need to make sure that as a community we move forward together." WorldPride was first staged in Rome in 2000 and has also been held in Jerusalem, London and Madrid; the next festival will be in D.C. in two years.

Last month, same-sex marriage became legal in the tiny European country of Andorra, GCN noted. The development happened as a result of the new amendments to the state's Family Code taking effect—changes that were approved by the General Council on July 21, 2022. After the parliament voted to open civil marriage to same-sex couples, the law was promulgated by one of the co-princes of Andorra, French President Emmanuel Macron, on Aug. 17, 2022.

India's Supreme Court passed arguments over granting legal recognition to same-sex marriages to the larger Constitutional Court, according to . That five-judge bench will listen to petitions on April 18 while live streaming the proceedings on its website and YouTube. The conservative Indian government, led by Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi, told the Supreme Court that it is against same-sex marriage and that any changes were up to parliament but not the courts.

Namibia's supreme court will soon issue rulings in three cases involving LGBTQI people that will set a precedent for the recognition of same-sex marriages and spousal immigration rights for non-Namibian partners—another the court will hear another case challenging the country's sodomy statute, The Washington Blade reported. This is the first time since 2001 that Namibia's highest court will hear cases regarding same-sex relationships; it is also the first time the high court will hear arguments regarding the sodomy law. The full article is at .

GCN published an article profiling Uliana and Alina—a lesbian couple from Ukraine who talked about how they fled the war with Russia and got married in Ireland. The pair met online through a dating website called Mamba while they were living in Ukraine; they were able to live together in Kyiv but they couldn't tell anyone that they were a couple. They said, "To everyone else, we were sisters, we were friends—for 10 years!" They added, among other things, that the first time they felt they could be open occurred when LGBT Ireland found a host family for the couple—and it was a lesbian couple from Estonia.

A meeting that will focus on the integration of LGBTQI rights into the UN Security Council's work will take place at the United Nations on March 20, The Washington Blade reported. The U.S. Mission to the U.N. is co-sponsoring the meeting along with Albania, Brazil, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Japan, Malta, Switzerland, the U.K. and the LGBTI Core Group, a group of pro-LGBTQI UN countries. Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the independent UN expert on LGBTQ and intersex issues, is expected to provide a briefing on LGBTQ and intersex rights around the world.

In Canada, LGBTQ+ students and alumni of at British Columbia's Trinity Western University (TWU) are hoping to bring a chaplain onto campus as an ally for those exploring questions of their faith, gender and sexuality, reported. This happened after the Langley City school denied an independent group's request to hold a storytelling night on campus,—something it had done for the past eight years. Langley City Mayor Nathan Pachal, who attended the relocated event with his husband, said, "While Christians move forward, it saddens me that some organizations haven't—including one that's not letting One TWU hold a storytelling event that supports [its] student community."

A new poll has revealed Brits strongly support drag shows and would overwhelmingly reject any attempt to ban performances in the United Kingdom, PinkNews revealed. Research carried out by More in Common found that across all political parties and age groups, the British population is in favor of drag shows and rejects the idea of a ban. The research took place weeks after Tennessee became the first U.S. state to ban drag shows in public.

Far-right Christian groups were planning to gather in Sydney on March 18 to rally, as LGBTQI activists work to counter with their own protest, the Star Observer reported. The far-right groups claim their rally is to "protect our kids" from the "moral decay of society." Community Action for Rainbow Rights, who were planning to organize a counter-protest, views the demonstration as the latest in a string of growing far-right action against LGBTQI people and events throughout Sydney.

The Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board (NHIB/UKOM) ruled that national guidelines on the use of puberty blockers and gender-reassignment surgeries need to be revised to reflect the lack of sufficient medical evidence supporting such procedures, The National Review reported. Under the new guidelines recommended by UKOM, hormone therapy and gender-reassignment surgery for minors would be restricted to research settings and not made otherwise available. If Norway follows UKOM's recommendations, it would align the country with Sweden, Finland and England—all of whom have recently sought to introduce new safeguards protecting minors from "gender-affirming" care.

ITV presenter Alison Hammond has been tapped as the new co-host on The Great British Bake Off, succeeding out gay cast member Matt Lucas, Variety noted. Hammond—who participated in the celebrity version of "Bake Off" in 2020 and who recently co-hosted the BAFTA Film Awards with Richard E. Grant—will join Noel Fielding as co-host on the next season of the iconic baking show.

LGBTQ+ Emmy winner Kit Connor (Netflix's Heartstopper) has been set to lead the feature mystery-horror One of Us, which will begin filming in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Deadline noted. In the allegorical film, members of a family begin dying one by one at a funeral, while Connor's character searches for the stranger in the midst. Callum Woodhouse (The Durrells), Charlotte Hope (The Spanish Princess), Siobhan Fallon-Hogan (Rushed) and Ian Beattie (Game Of Thrones) will also star in the feature.

Rising Dutch director Anton van der Linden, whose show Marvin? just premiered at SXSW, is set to direct Everygay Life, a high-concept queer comedy series, Variety noted. Amsterdam-based production banner Explorers of the Unfound is developing the show. The series will focus on two queer married couples—David and Miles, and Kate and Emma—who are raising children and juggling work responsibilities while navigating society's preconceptions, often leading to tragicomic situations.

British celebrity hairstylist Chris Appleton confirmed on The Drew Barrymore Show that he's dating actor The White Lotus and You star Lukas Gage, per PinkNews. Gage (who's in Netflix's You) recently told The New York Times that he feels pressured "all the time" to identify with a certain LGBTQ+ label in his career, Yahoo! noted. However, Gage added that he understands "representation and voices that need to be heard," but doesn't want to discuss that element of his life and identity "on anyone's accord but my own."

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